Welcome to another week.
A judge in Italy has ordered a 15 year old girl, who was at the centre of a paedophile ring, to read feminist books in order to give her an understanding of the “damage that has been done to her” and to take on “feminist values” from the materials.
The court in Rome has given one of the men involved a two-year jail sentence for paying to have sex with the girl, and has ordered that he pay for the books and films which she must read and watch.
The ruling, which was passed down by a female judge, was met with criticism by one of the authors on the court ordered reading list, who felt that the books should be read by the perpetrator instead.
A very concerning mental health issue also arises from this judgment. By placing some of the responsibility on the young girl for the events that took place, she could take the view she is to blame for what happened to her and could go on to suffer with depression, anxiety and poor physical health, which could worsen over time.
This course of action also does not address the underlying reasons why the girl found herself at the centre of a paedophile ring, and no effort appears to have been made to offer this young girl counselling or support. The girl could also feel that the two year sentence the man was given was very lenient, and that this in some way reflects upon her self worth.
Those in favour of the ruling might suggest that at 15, the girl was old enough to understand what she was doing, and that her part in the paedophile ring was a considered life choice, having accepted money in return for sleeping with the man involved. They may also argue that the books could help to inform the young woman about her rights and offer her more options on how to live her life, going forward.
Advocates of the ruling might also say that the length of the sentence is an appropriate amount of time for the crime committed, bearing in mind the girl’s age and what appears to be an isolated event as far as the man in question is concerned.
Our question to you then, is just this: Do you think the judge’s ruling was right?